Police probe arson case after fire breaks out at justice dept building in Cape Town

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Police are probing an arson case after a fire broke out at the justice dept building in Cape Town. (Photo: File)
Police are probing an arson case after a fire broke out at the justice dept building in Cape Town. (Photo: File)
  • Police are investigating a case of arson at a Department of Justice building in Cape Town.
  • Forensic investigators were combing the scene on Friday. 
  • Chrispin Phiri, spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said it was suspected that beggars lit a fire close to the court to keep warm.

Police are investigating an arson case after a fire broke out at a justice department building in Cape Town.

A wooden door was allegedly set on fire.

Forensic investigators were seen combing the scene on Friday. 

Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said the Cape Town Central police station opened an arson case.

"A fire was reported in Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town. No one was arrested. The investigation into the matter continues," he said. 

Spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Chrispin Phiri, told News24 the department was not able to comment on the matter.

"It is suspected that beggars may have lit a fire to keep warm close to the court. It is worth noting that [there were] no injuries [and] no substantial structural damage, except burn marks on the wooden door. An investigation by SAPS is under way,"  he said. 

READ | Parliament fire: Report finds sprinkler valve was not serviced for several years and was closed

The City's fire rescue service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said it did not receive a call about the incident.

The forensic investigators on the scene were understood to be taking swab samples from plastic bottles that were found by the burnt wooden door.

The fire comes just days after firefighters contained a massive blaze at Parliament.

Flames broke out in the Cape Town precinct shortly before dawn on Sunday and spread to the National Assembly, causing the roof to collapse and threatening artworks and artefacts in the building.

The blaze was initially declared under control on Monday but flared up again.

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